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Old 03-05-2014, 04:55 PM
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Default Staff disagreement suggestions please!

I have a lead teacher and her assistant who are not getting along. We will be a having a mediation meeting tomorrow. The lead is a self proclaimed "be on my own" kind of teacher. The assistant is having some difficulties b/c she wants to help, doesnt know how best to do so. They hsve had two inital mtgs w/out me. Now its time for me to step in. Dilemma- lead is a fantastic teacher biggest fault is that she doesnt work well with others. Assistant is my mom. Ready set go! TIA!
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:20 PM
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Have both write out a list of the duties in the class they currently do, what tasks they each need help or guidance with, and what other tasks they would like to take on.

I was a lead teacher and had two assistants who did not want to help. It was very frustrating for me becuase my director did not mediate. Kudos to you! Make sure to remain as neutral as possible. Remind lead teacher that assistants WANT to learn so by involving her she is providing a service that is required by the school.

Good luck!
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:10 PM
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I had 137 staff in my childcare centers and counseling professional relationships is a full time job. You will need to make sure they take turns talking and that they remain polite and appropriate.
I hope your mom can separate business from personal. My mother never could, which is why she couldn't work for me. There was always the expectation I had to take her side.
Is the lead teacher young? If so could your mom be feeling a lack of respect from her? It is often a problem when the lead teacher is much younger. They tend not to value the elder person's knowledge. If you have other rooms you may need to try swapping one out for a week or two. You may also need to do some classroom observation in order to determine the root of the problem.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:46 AM
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I've been in this situation before, and agree that the above suggestions are great. You may need to step in and tell each teacher exactly what to do. For example, you can tell the lead that M, W, F are her days to run circle, craft, whatever, and T, Th are the assistants days. Or, the lead teacher may need to be told to delegate responsibilities to the assistant, and she will need to make a list of these. It can often help to have clear duties for each person so there is no question about who does what on what days.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:10 AM
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Your lead teacher may be a great teacher, but she also needs to be a leader! As a director I think it's great that you will define roles and mediate, but eventually you want the lead teacher to kindly and respectfully delegate duties to the asst. She needs to put her ego aside and learn how to lead and delegate. If the assistant isn't sure how to help then no one is clearly telling her how and what to do. It sounds like you feel your lead tchr is pretty talented. Make it clear that she shldn't feel threatened by the asst. An asst is just that... They assist! I say this kindly to you but if you are the director and your Mom is the assistant, it puts a whole new dynamic to the mediation and you should consider that dynamic when conducting the meeting. Good luck with the meeting!!
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llpa View Post
Your lead teacher may be a great teacher, but she also needs to be a leader! As a director I think it's great that you will define roles and mediate, but eventually you want the lead teacher to kindly and respectfully delegate duties to the asst. She needs to put her ego aside and learn how to lead and delegate. If the assistant isn't sure how to help then no one is clearly telling her how and what to do. It sounds like you feel your lead tchr is pretty talented. Make it clear that she shldn't feel threatened by the asst. An asst is just that... They assist! I say this kindly to you but if you are the director and your Mom is the assistant, it puts a whole new dynamic to the mediation and you should consider that dynamic when conducting the meeting. Good luck with the meeting!!
Being a lead teacher has certain responsibilities REGARDLESS of whether the lead teacher likes it or not.

Working well WITH others is something she should have been working on from the VERY beginning of her career since she choose to get into a line of work that relies heavily on interacting and partnering with others.

She may be the best teacher in the world, but she will put a child care out of business super fast if she doesn't start learning how to work with co-workers in a positive way.

NOT setting a very good example for the children she is teaching...
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:54 AM
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Were it me, I would give both of them clear expectations of their job duties, and make sure that they both understand what is expected of them. The lead teacher may have a hard time delegating (sometimes, it is just easier for people to do it themselves). The lead teacher should be told that delegating is a part of her job responsibilities, and should understand that her assistant feels underutilized and helpless to change that in the current situation. The assistant surely has a NEED to be useful and to contribute.

The assistant should understand that while it is great to make suggestions when she sees something that could be improved, she is not in a position to implement them without consulting either the lead teacher (ideally) or you. If necessary, YOU could clearly assign duties to the assistant that she should perform daily.

It is probably just a power struggle that neither of them are able to recognize. Two personality types that don't work well together. Rather than getting involved in mediating personal issues (I don't like her...she doesn't do XXX, etc.), make duties clear to both parties, and let them know that personal vendettas or agendas have no place in your business.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:01 AM
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Default Thank you!

Thank you all for your suggestions! I used many if not all of them today during our meeting. Thankfully I also asked our Pastor to join us. He was extremely helpful and helped the lead teacher feel as though it was not my mom and I against her. I pray they will continue to work through this. I will keep you all posted on their progress!
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